Tom MacWright

Polite Technology

Polite Technology is an etiquette guide for people who use and build technology. The first article is called How to Report a Bug, and it covers the fundamental elements of a friendly, informative, and actionable bug report.

I wrote the first words of Polite Technology in 2013, in an effort to elevate the quality of bug reports within OpenStreetMap and Mapbox. As a developer, incomplete and poorly thought-out bug reports were draining time & morale. There are many recent examples of abusive bug reports that contribute to burn-out, so Polite Technology talks about empathy too.

Our methods of communicating are also getting some help closer to the source: GitHub finally announced issue templates, so you create ‘forms’ for people to follow in order to produce good bug reports.

Polite Technology is also an open source project, so you can help make it better, and it’s licensed under CC0/Public Domain, so it’s free to use and adapt.